DEP approves permit for San-Cap Road project
The city of Sanibel received the state’s approval for the emergency shore protection project south of Blind Pass, along Sanibel-Captiva Road, and anticipates that the permit will be issued this week.
On Nov. 20, Sanibel Natural Resources Director James Evans reported that the city’s coastal engineering firm – Humiston & Moore Engineers – received the green light on the design plans it submitted to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, plus an added alternative.
“The DEP is going to authorize us to include both options for the construction project,” he said.
Evans explained that the state approved the original plans a few weeks ago, but the issuance of the permit was put on hold in order to see if the DEP would approve and include with that same permit an alternative method for the project that was proposed after the firm had filed the permit application.
“One is metal sheet pile construction and one is Truline,” he said of the options.
A new innovation in seawall, bulkhead and retaining wall construction, the Truline system combines steel, concrete and vinyl materials into one wall system. According to the Website, the wall is protected long-term by the dual-interlocking vinyl form, which encases or protects the concrete and steel rebar.
“We’ll be able to bid it out both ways,” Evans said of the project.
“It looks like the DEP will be issuing that permit next week,” he added.
Once the permit is received, the city will have a cost estimate for the two different methods.
“We’re going to bid it out both ways, so that we can look at the cost-benefit and the bids for both options,” Evans said. “Then we can determine which option we’re going to go with.”
The city’s bid process is normally between 60 days and 90 days.
“I’d say 90 days to be safe,” he said. “We’d look at starting the project in March.”
The work may take approximately one month to two months to finish.
“The goal is to have it completed before sea turtle nesting season starts in May,” Evans said.
Funding is another aspect of the project that the city continues to work on.
It previously submitted an application for funds through the FDEP’s Florida Beach Management Funding Assistance Program, which accepts local funding requests related to beach projects.
On Nov. 12, Evans reported that the project was not picked to receive funding. However, the city will apply with the Lee County Tourist Development Council’s Beach Renourishment Trust Fund next.
“Once we get all the cost estimates, we’ll be seeking funding,” he said.
Evans also provided an update on the status of the target area.
“We’ve seen some erosion as the recent cold fronts have impacted the area,” he said. “We’re just at the beginning of the cold fronts, so we’re going to continue to monitor it closely.”
The beach accumulates sand in the summer and loses it in the winter because of wind direction.
Earlier this year, the city had brought in Humiston & Moore Engineers to look at the area near Pine Avenue and Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages and come up with concepts to better protect the nearby road and properties from erosion. Later on at a city council meeting, the firm reported the following:
“Recent storms and cold fronts in 2018 and 2019 have resulted in increased sand loss and vulnerability,” the firm stated in documents. “It is the intent of the city to design improved protection along this section of roadway and extend the protection further north and south of the existing buried (rock) revetment to provide high frequency storm protection to the most vulnerable 400-foot section of the evacuation route for the island of Captiva and the north end of Sanibel.”
“The concept plan involves the addition of a larger armor stone layer along the existing buried revetment and installation of a steel sheet pile wall with a concrete cap upland of the revetment, along the edge of the right-of-way, for the approximate 400-foot section of vulnerable roadway,” it continued. “Additional rock will be included for toe-scour protection north and south of the existing revetment seaward of the new wall and tapering of the rock further landward.”